Rules of the road

No More Electric Scooters on Houston Sidewalks? We Have Solutions!

City Council voted this week to take e-scooters to the street, so here’s a list of 10 alternate modes of transportation for you.

By Catherine Wendlandt March 25, 2021

Houston just gave scooters the boot ... well, sort of.

Houston City Council voted on Wednesday to set some regulations for electronic scooters, which came zipping into town two years ago, from sidewalks, parking lots, and other city-owned property Downtown and in other areas like the Galleria and Greenway Plaza.

So what regulations? Mostly, e-scooter companies like Glyderz and ScootsTx must park their scooters on private property instead of in tangled, accidents-waiting-to-happen piles on street corners. Plus, people have to ride them on the street and not on the sidewalk. Thus, you’re less likely to get bowled over by need-for-speed tweens or 20-somethings at questionable levels of intoxication while walking around.

This means fair is fair, and scooters must follow the same rules of the road as other two-wheeled vehicles, like bicycles. If recalling that one hazy driver’s-ed lesson on bike rules proves too difficult, here's a refresher.

And if now you're like—'Oh no, I can't ride a scooter on the street!'—we’ve brainstormed some alternate modes of transportation just for you.

  1. Drive: You do live in Houston.
  2. Take METRO Houston: Make your tax dollars work for you. (Plus, you can spot cool murals at different light rail stations.)
  3. Walk: Exercise? Oh, the horror.
  4. Hail a taxi: Sure, your friends might accuse you of becoming a boomer, but there’s only a $6 flat fare for rides anywhere in the Central Business District.
  5. Fly: Yeah, this one might require a little ingenuity to figure out, but we believe in you.
  6. Ride a horse: You do live in Texas.
  7. Ride a bike: This is a tad more feasible than a horse, thanks to the city’s BCycle program, which provides rentable e-bikes throughout Downtown and Midtown.
  8. Use a rideshare app: We get if you’re still a little nervous about this option, but check out Uber’s Covid-19 safety rules here.
  9. Roller skate: You’ll never look so cool ever again. Until you fall. 
  10. Just ride the freaking scooter in the street: It'll be okay. We promise.
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